Minutes of Sectional Meetings.
President, Mr. A. H. Cockayne; Vice-President, Dr. F. Hilgendorf, F.N.Z. Inst.; Hon. Sec., Mr. E. R. Hudson, B.Sc.
Place of Meeting—Upper Oliver Room
The meetings were well attended throughout, an average of about forty members being present at all sessions.
The following papers and addresses were given:—
|Presidential Address:||“The Trend of Agriculture in New Zealand during the past 25 years.”|
|Professor Peren:||“Aspects of Higher Agricultural Education in America.”|
|Professor Ridett:||“Aspects of Higher Agricultural Education in Great Britain.”|
|Dr. F. W. Hilgendorf:||“Aspects of Higher Agricultural Education in New Zealand.”|
|Mr. C. L. Gillies:||“Agricultural Teaching in the Secondary School.”|
|Mr. E. R. Hudson:||“Report on the Subject of Agriculture in the 1925 Matriculation Examination.”|
|Mr. E. S. Lange and Mr. G. S. Ridley:||“Agriculture in the Primary School.”|
|Mr. H. M. Lawton:||“Improved Method in Soil Analysis.”|
|Mr. Bruce Levy:||“The Point Method of Pasture Analysis.”|
|Dr. F. W. Hilgendorf:||“The Fundamentals of Field Experiments.”|
|Mr. M. J. Scott:||“Field Experiments.”|
|Mr. A. W. Hudson:||“Practical Methods in Field Experimental Work.”|
|Mr. T. Rigg:||“The Fineness of Grinding of Limestone.”|
|Professor Watt:||“Some Australian Contributions to Agricultural Progress.”|
A joint meeting with the Chemistry and Geology Sections was held in order to discuss the question of Soil Surveys. At this meeting the following papers were read:—
|Mr. T. Rigg:||“Soil Surveys in the Nelson Province.”|
|Mr. H. T. Farrar:||“The most useful basis for a Soil Survey of New Zealand.” (Printed in this Volume.)|
Mr. Rigg illustrated his lecture by means of soil survey maps of Nelson province and lantern slides.
An interesting paper by Mr. H. T. Farrar, of the Agricultural Department, was also read, and an animated discussion followed. Some of the speakers expressed doubts as to the value of soil surveys and soil analyses, and contended that experimental work was the best way of deciding what the soil was best fitted for and how best to treat it.
Professor Easterfield (director of Cawthron Institute) maintained, however, the great value of soil survey and soil analysis work. The assistance Mr. Rigg had been able to give to farmers and others as the result of that work fully justified it, he stated; it had the effect of checking land, speculation.
One of the most interesting meetings of the Science Congress from the public point of view was a combined one of the biology and agricultural sections to discuss the problem of blackberry control. Dr. R. J. Tillyard presided, and the discussion was opened by Mr. A. H. Cockayne. Mr. Cockayne disclaimed any great knowledge of the subject. Popularly, he said, for some reason he did not quite understand, the blackberry was considered to be the most serious weed menace in the Dominion. It was not clear why the blackberry should be so viewed when the matter was considered in proper perspective. The blackberry was not causing a great diminution of the production; not nearly as much, for instance, as the common bracken. The reason why is was so seriously viewed was the danger that it might become dominant over intensely cultivated land. He believed he was correct in saying that the blackberry had not overran any land capable of carrying two sheep to the acre in winter. With many weeds, proper management of stocking tended to reduce their spread. This would also hold good of blackberry if it were not for the fact that blackberry tended to reduce the stock on the land. Frequently areas that were only comparatively badly infested were sparsely stocked because of the trouble blackberry caused with sheep, for instance. In the majority of instances, the cleaning up of blackberry was confined to those areas that could be ploughed. There was no reason why blackberry land that was ploughable should not be made good grass land by good farm management. The majority of the unploughable land now occupied by blackberry did not come under the heading of first-class land. There was, however, an exception in the area from Napier to Wairoa, where until lately the farmers had done nothing to prevent the spread of blackberry or to comply with the provisions of the Noxious Weeds Act. Recently the farmers there had come to the conclusion that they were
being seriously menaced and had applied to the Government to free them from the menace without cost to themselves. At present there was a good deal being done in cutting and spraying, and by the use of goats to control the pest. Blackberry had distinct ecological relationships as far as distribution was concerned, and he would like to see this carefully studied. There were large areas in New Zealand in which it would be impossible for the blackberry to spread, but, on the other hand, there were large areas where it could become a menace. A bonus of £10,000 had been offered for a method of eradicating the blackberry. He himself had drawn up the conditions and could say that any man who complied with them would have earned the £10,000. The basis was that the method must not be more expensive than the cost of twice cutting down the blackberry. They had a graduate of Otago University specifically engaged on the study of the blackberry and its relation to soil, climate, and other conditions. The present position as far as spraying was concerned was not so satisfactory, save that the sprays that were most toxic were expensive. They usually included arsenic, and that was a danger to stock where the area was not safely fenced off. The method that probably was giving the best results at the present time was the use of goats.
In the use of goats there was a certain amount of what he might call farm ritual to be observed. The main objection to goats was they were the greatest jumpers in the world, and the fencing necessary to keep them in would bankrupt any wool king. Dr. Tillyard said he would deal with the question simply from the point of view of control by natural enemies. His information was that the menace was serious, and was increasing, and he knew of a number who had thrown up their farms on account of blackberry. Till recently there was only one case of the control of a weed by its natural enemies. This was the case of the lantasia in Hawaii where the actual seeding of the plant had been stopped by the introduction of insects. In Australia there was a wonderful illustration of what could be done with the prickly pear, which now covered an area as large as Tasmania, and was said to be increasing by a million acres a year. A company had been floated with a large capital for clearing land by means of a heavy gas, but the company had never paid. Many other methods had been suggested, until the only thing left was to attempt to control it by the natural enemy. The insects already liberated were now doing magnificent work, and, in the opinion of the officers concerned, it was only a matter of time when the whole of the pest would be cleared out by these insects. As a biologist he held that the position here was serious enough to warrant the attempt to control the blackberry by insects. If the authorities in Australia had been guided by the opinions of leading biologists and entomologists they would never have taken the risk of introducing the insects. They felt that the position was so desperate that a desperate remedy must be tried. A group of thirty insects was gathered from North and South America, and these were all carefully tested on as many as seventy different economic plants as well as on prickly pear, before they were liberated. Only those were liberated that attacked nothing else than the prickly pear. He thought himself that the chances of control of blackberry in this way were about 50—50, but he did not want that to remain an opinion, but to have it thoroughly tested. His first proposition was that no insect except one that fed only on the genus Rubus should be allowed to enter New Zealand. He was against taking any risk for other plants. He thought the starvation test should be applied to the insects under observation at different stages of their development, both in the country of their origin and in New Zealand. He was not asking permits to liberate insects, but to bring them in under strict quarantine conditions. It was essential that they should have large insectaria with room to grow quantities of blackberry under natural conditions. Every part of the blackberry from the root up was attacked in some part of the world or other by insects. There were two insects which offered tremendous possibilities, by attacking the tips of the shoots and the fruiting head. There would be grave danger of it attacking raspberry. There was another insect found in Belguim which did grave damage to the stems. There were a great number of leaf feeders that might combine with the other insects he had mentioned in attacking the blackberry. He was to fight
the idea that in no case should insects be introduced to attack a plant. Each case should be considered on its own merits. Mr. Cockayne suggested that experiments might be conducted in the Chatham Islands without any risk to New Zealand. He was a little bit sceptical about the prickly pear position in Queensland. If any great progress had been made it had been very lately.
Dr. Tillyard, referring to Queensland, said that only one insect had been liberated for three years, and they had in the cages insects that promised even better results.
He had been at pains to get at the latest information from Queensland.
Professor Easterfield said that a very important New Zealand industry, the Flax industry, seemed to him to be threatened by the blackberry.
Mr. Cockayne said the blackberry was a serious menace in some of the flax swamps but not in others.
One speaker pointed out that the blackberry was related to a number of economic plants, and also that the great varieties of climate complicated the problem.
Professor R. D. Watt (Sydney) said it was too early yet to say that one insect would wipe out the prickly pear. There was a case in Australia of a species of plant being entirely wiped out by an insect. He was very hopeful. however, that they would in time get logical control of the prickly pear.
Mr. Cockayne referred to an interesting case of eradication of blackberry about Port Underwood by rose scale. The rose scale was effective there doubtless owing to the absence of the parasites which made it useless elsewhere.
On the last afternoon an excursion was made to the Taieri Plain, and the Waironga Clydesdale Stud Farm was visited. Members much appreciated the country and hospitality extended by Messrs. Thomson Bros. of Waironga on this occasion.
President, Dr. R. J. Tillyard, F.R.S., M.A., F.N.Z. Inst.; Vice President, Mr. R. M. Laing, M.A., B.Sc., F.N.Z. Inst.; Hon. Sec., Mr. W. Martin, B.Sc.
Place of Meeting—Physiology Room.
There was an average attendance of about twenty members. The following papers and addresses were given:—
|Presidential Address:||“The progress of Economic Entomology in Australia and New Zealand.”|
|Dr. H. H. Allan:||“The F1 Generation of Coprosma prop-x C. robusta.”|
|Hon. G. M. Thomson:||“The Pollination of New Zealand Flowers by Birds and Insects.” (Printed in this Volume.)|
|Hon. G. M. Thomson:||“The Occurrence of Pilchards and Sprats in New Zealand Seas.” (Printed in this Volume.)|
|Mr. D. Millar:||“Calcium cyanide as an Insecticide.”|
|Mr. D. Millar:||“The Influence of Insects on the Forests and Timber of New Zealand.”|
|Mr. M. Young:||“The Marine Biology of the Chatham Islands.”|
|Mr. R. M. Laing:||“The External Distribution and Relationships of the New Zealand Marine Algae.” (Printed in this Volume.)|
|Mr. W. Martin:||“The Biology of the Chatham Islands.”|
|Mr. R. Gourlay:||“Notes on a New Zealand Wood-Wasp.” (Printed in this Volume.)|
|Dr. K. N. Curtis:||“The Susceptibility of Prunus Species of Sclerotina cinerea: Modern Theories and additional data.”|
|Miss B. J. Murray:||“Four Fungi on Endemic Species of Rubus in New Zealand.” (Printed in this Volume.)|
|Mr. W. Martin:||“Additional Knowledge in respect to the flora of the Dunedin District.”|
|Mr. A. L. Tonnoir:||“Muscidae Acalyptratae of New Zealand.”|
|Mr. A. L. Tonnoir:||“Fungus Gnats of New Zealand.” (Printed in this Volume.)|
The following resolutions were carried and were afterwards submitted to the Joint Meeting of Sectional Committees, held at the end of the Congress:—
That a section of Forestry be included in the next Science Congress.—Carried by 8 to 5.
That at the next Science Congress a Symposium be arranged for, in which should be discussed, from the points of view of workers in various departments of Science, the question of New Zealand's last land connections.—Carried nem. con.
The botanical members made an all day visit to the peat bogs on Maungatua. A combined meeting was held with the Agriculture Section on the subject of Blackberry Control. (See above.)
President, Mr. J. A. Bartrum, M.Sc.; Vice President, Dr. J. A. Thomson, M.A., F.G.S., F.N.Z. Inst.; Hon. Sec., Dr. W. N. Benson, F.G.S.
Place of Meeting—Geology Lecture Room.
The following Addresses and papers were given:—
|Presidential Address:||“Geological Education in New Zealand to the Community.”|
|Mr. P. G. Morgan:||“Wave cut platforms near Titahi Bay and Porirua South Head and their significance.”|
|Mr. R. A. Waghorn:||“The Geology of the Ruakokopatuna Valley, South Wairarapa.” (Printed in this Volume.)|
|Mr. C. R. Laws:||“The Geology of the Papakura-Hunua District.”|
|Mr. H. J. Finlay:||“Notes on the Turridae.”|
|Professor Speight:||“The Geology of the Malvern Hills.”|
|Dr. J. A. Thomson:||“Marine horizons in the Tertiary of Brachiopod evidence of their Age.”|
|Dr. J. A. Thomson:||“Marine Phosphatic horizons in the Tertiary Beds of Otago and South Canterbury.” (Printed in New Zealand Journal of Science and Technology.)|
|Professor T. G. Taylor (Sydney):||“Notes on the Glaciation of Ruapehu.” (Printed in this Volume.)|
|Dr. J. Marwick:||“The Indo-Pacific Affinities of the New Zealand Tertiary Mollusca.”|
|Professor J. Park:||“An Outline of the Geology of New Zealand.”|
|Professor J. Park:||“The Great Moraine at Lake Rotorua.”|
|Professor J. Park:||“On the Occurrence of Belemnitnes at Shag Point.”|
|Dr. P. Marshall:||“The Geology of Mangaia.”|
|Mr. C. L. Carter and Dr. W. N. Benson:||“Iodine in New Zealand Soils and Waters, and its Geological Significance.”|
|Mr. W. Penseler:||“The Mode of Occurrence and Microscopic Structure of the Coal in the James River.”|
|Professor Speight:||“The Varve Glacial Silts of Rakaia Gorge.”|
|Mr. J. A. Bartrum:||“The Topographic Features of the Western side of the Hauraki Gulf.” (Printed in this Volume.)|
|Dr. W. N. Benson:||“The Geology of the Leith and Kaikorai Valleys.”|
A combined meeting of the Geology, Agriculture and Chemical Sections was held to discuss the Methods and Problems of Soil Survey (see above).
An excursion took place to Nicholl's Creek, where Professor Benson demonstrated some of the evidence upon which he based the conclusions given in his paper.
The following resolutions were carried and sent forward to the Joint meeting of Sectional Committees for consideration:—
That Geology should be recognised by the New Zealand University as a subject for the Matriculation Examination.
That at the next Science Congress a Symposium should be arranged for on the subject of the former land connections with New Zealand.
Section 4.—Chemistry, Physics and Engineering.
President, Dr. C. C. Farr, F.N.Z. Inst.; Vice President, Dr. E. Marsden, F.N.Z. Inst.; Hon. Sec., Mr. C. L. Carter, M.Sc.
Place of Meeting—Physics Lecture Room.
The attendance of members varied from eight to twenty. The following addresses and papers were given:—
|Presidential Address:||“The Relation of Science to Industry.”|
|Mr. H. P. Thomas:||“Electrical Supply Methods.”|
|Mr. R. R. Nimmo:||“Some properties of Neon Lamps.”|
|Prof. G. H. Denham and Mr. J. Parker:||“An improved Hydrogen Sulphide Apparatus.” (Printed in this Volume.)|
|Prof. G. H. Denham:||“A Problem in Boiler Corrosion.” (Printed in this Volume.)|
|Prof. J. K. H. Inglis:||“Essential oils in some New Zealand Plants.”|
|Mr. R. Y. Penseler:||“Natural Resins.”|
|Mr. M. N. Rogers:||“The Radon and Iodine content of some New Zealand waters.” (Printed in this Volume.)|
|General Discussion:||“The Relation of Science and Industry.”|
A Joint meeting was held with the Agriculture and Geology Section on the question of the Basis for a Soil Survey in New Zealand.
President, Dr. P. H. Buck, F.N.Z. Inst.; Vice Presidents, The Hon. A. T. Ngata, M.A., LL.B., M.P., and Mr. A. S. Kenyon; Hon. Sec., Mr. H. D. Skinner, B.A. (N.Z. and Cantab.).
Place of Meeting—General Biology Lecture Room (The Museum).
By mutual arrangement this section held a number of its meetings in conjunction with Section 6.
The attendance of members ranged from five to twenty-five.
The following addresses and papers were given:—
|Presidential Address:||“The Value of Tradition in Polynesian Research.”|
|Mr. A. S. Kenyon:||“A day on an Australian Stone-Age Site.”|
|Dr. Buck:||“The Carving of Toki Pou-tangata.”|
|Mr. H. Hamilton:||“Kaingaroa Rock Carvings.”|
|Dr. E. S. Handy:||“The Polynesian Oracle House.” (Printed in Polynesian Journal, 1926.)|
|Mr. H. D. Skinner:||“South Canterbury Rock Paintings.”|
|Discussion on:||“The Physical Anthropology of the Tuhoe Tribe.”|
|Mr. A. S. Kenyon:||“Classification of Australian Stone Implements.”|
|Mr. F. V. Knapp:||“Classification of Stone Adges and Chisels from Tasman Bay.”|
Two Museum demonstrations took place. Two separate all day Excursions were held at Long Beach and Murdering Beach, and at Pipikariti respectively.
Section 6.—Social Science and Economics.
President, Professor J. Shelley, M.A.; Vice Presidents, Dr. H. G. Scholefield, O.B.E., D.Sc. (Lond.); F. R. Hist, S.; Hon. Sec., Mr. J. Johnson, M.A.
Place of Meeting—Lower Oliver Room
By mutual arrangement this Section held several of its meetings in conjunction with Section 5.
The following addresses and papers were given:—
|Presidential Address:||“Rapid Communication and Social Revolution.”|
|Dr. G. H. Scholefield:||“The Racial Composition of the New Zealand people.”|
|Mr. W. J. Bowman:||“Rural Co-operation Credit in New Zealand.”|
|Mr A. Munro:||“The Future of Craftsmanship.”|
|Dr. E. P. Neale:||“Demographic Characteristics of Newly Settled Lands.”|
|Prof. A. G. B. Fisher:||“The Significance of Over-importation.”|
A general discussion took place on the work of the Section. It was strongly urged that at future Science Congresses arrangements should be made for more Joint Sectional Discussions on topics of general interest, and that long papers of specialized interest should be given a less important place in the Congress.